Andrews, Peter Department of Palaeontology, Natural History Museum, London, United Kingdom.
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The group of primates most closely related to humans. The primates included in the ape group are the African great apes, the gorillas (Fig. 1) and chimpanzees; the Asian great apes, the orangutans; and the lesser apes from Asia, the gibbons. Humans can also be included in the great ape group, but most researchers use the term to refer to the nonhuman great apes. The apes can be distinguished from the rest of the primates by a number of anatomical and behavioral traits, which indicate their common origin; thus, they are considered a monophyletic group and are called the Hominoidea. See also: Ape cognition; Evolution of African great apes; Monkey; Phylogeny; Primates
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